BARCELONA — “Sacred Spirit,” “Five Little Wolves” and “Ane” are among five feature projects to be put through development at the ECAM Madrid Film School’s pioneering Incubator development program.
The Incubator forms part of The Screen, ECAM’s umbrella initiative aimed at nurturing on the rise Spain-based talent kinks with Europe’s film and TV industries.
Selected by Variety as a Spanish talent to track, Chema García Ibarra will direct “Spirit,” from Basque production house Apellániz & De Sosa, which has half of Spain searching for a missing girl as a Spanish Ufology association plans a night studying the heavens. The fate of humanity depends on one of its members, the morbidly obese José Manuel, who hides a secret.
García Ibarra’s debut short “Attack From the Robots From Nebula 5,” was selected for Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes and took the 2010 Meliès d’Or Short Film Award. His newest film, co-directed with Ion de Sosa, “The Golden Legend” world-premiere at in Berlinale Shorts.
Directed by Alauda Ruiz de Azúa and produced by Manuel Calvo at Encanta Films, “Five Little Wolves” turns on Paula, who feels overwhelmed by motherhood, seeks refuge at her parents. When her mother gets sick, Paula is forced to care for her and the house, cloning the life her mother lived at her age.
An ECAM alum. Ruiz de Azúa’s shorts include “They Say,” best short at Milan Intl. Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, and “Nena,” a Toulouse Cinespaña winner.
All the Incubator’s five new projects receive €10,000 ($11,500) grants for development. They will and will be mentored by Paco Plaza (“[REC]”), Marisa Fernández Armenteros, a producer at Mediapro, Borja Cobeaga (“Spanish Affair”), Nahikari Ipiña, Nacho Vigalondo’s creative partner and producer at Sayaka, director-producer Ibon Cormenzana at Arcadia Motion Pictures and Natalia Marín, who will monitor the projects from late February through June.
“Ane” will be the feature debut of David Pérez Sañudo, produced by Katixa de Silva at Vitoria-based Amania Films. A Barcelona’s Escac alum, Pérez Sañudo’ shorts include “Indirizzo, “Artifitial” and “Malas vibraciones.”
In “Ane,” following the disturbances caused by the arrest of two alleged ETA members at a youth center, a woman discovers that her teenage daughter, with whom she had a violent argument just a few hours earlier, hasn’t come home for the evening.
Produced by Manuel Arango at Madrid-based Tourmalet Films, Omar Razzak’s debut feature “Killing Crabs” follows elderly inhabitants of recently-declared illegal cave-houses in a town on the Canary Islands, who have to contend with the situation. While Nieves fights for what she considers to be hers, Ceferino teaches his grandchildren how to go crabbing. With Syrian origins, Razzak is a Canary Islands-based filmmaker trained in Paris, Montreal and Madrid. He directed the documentaries “Paradiso” and “La tempestad calmada.”
The Incubator initiative is held in collaboration with the Torino Film Lab, Rotterdam Lab (IFFR) and EAVE (European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs)
Javi Tasio at BRBR and Garlic & Japónica Films produce “La mala familia” (The Bad Family) from first-timers Nacho A. Villar and Luis Rojo, the transmedia creator founders of BRBR. Their work has presented at Mexico’s Ficunam, audiovisual platform Loop Barcelona and the Berlin Music Video Awards. Set on Madrid’s outskirts, the film tells the story of Natanael and Johansson who are heading to jail for a crime committed four years ago.
“Among all the submitted projects, we’ve seen a slightly higher presence of female-driven projects, and less genre and comedy. Within genre, we’ve seen more thrillers than horror movies. What we’ve noticed is that a huge majority respond to very personal concerns or interests,” Gemma Vidal, program manager at The Incubator, told Variety.
The five projects were selected from among nearly 200 presented after a call for submissions. The Incubator has large industry backing in Spain, given its large reach in submitted projects, and focus on training new talent – here producers.
The members of the selection committee took in Juan Mayne, director of co-productions and Spanish-language content acquisition at Netflix, Spain and Latin America, “Spanish Affair” director Borja Cobeaga and The Match Factory’s Brigitte Suarez, who worked with the pre-selection committee composed of screenwriter-producer Ana Puentes, director-producer Carlos Ceacero, producer Laura Rubirola and Gemma Vidal.
“The five selected projects are written and directed by creators who indicate a remarkable autuerist vocation. Additionally, these features signal a step ahead in the relationship between directors and producers. Also, all of them offer local stories with a clearly universal scope,” Vidal added.
A dramedy starring Emma Suárez (Almodóvar’s “Julieta”) and co-produced by Madrid’s White Leaf Producciones and Berlin’s One Two Films, Javier Marco’s “Josefina,” a project from the first Incubator tranche of productions, participated at the recent Rotterdam Lab as part of ECAm’s festival agreements.
Currently in post, the first project from The Incubator to be launched will be “Innocence,” the feature debut of Lucía Alemany .produced by Valencia’s Turanga Films, Barcelona’s Un Capricho de Producciones and Madrid’s Lagarto Films.
Starring Sergi López (“Pan’s Labyrinth”) and Laia Marull (“Take My Eyes”), and set in an isolated, small Spanish village in the north of Spain’s Valencia region, “Innocence” explores the turmoil of adolescence, its flowering sexuality and a troubled daughter-mother relationship.
Pictured from left to right: Luis Rojo, Alauda Ruiz, Omar Razzak, David Pérez, Chema García, Nacho Villar; then top to bottom: “Sacred Spirit,” “Cinco lobitos.”